In Los Angeles, Stand-Up MRI Scans Help to Manage Claustrophobia

For patients in Los Angeles, stand-up MRI scans might be the key to successful diagnostic imaging.

Anywhere between 4 percent and 30 percent of patients who slide into a standard MRI scanner experience claustrophobic anxiety during the procedure. Three to 5 percent of those patients stop the exam before it’s completed.

The problem is clear: A typical MRI tube is narrow, and it completely encloses the body. Meanwhile, the machine makes loud, sudden noises, clicking and whirring in a way that unsettles some patients. Even people who don’t normally struggle with claustrophobia sometimes find the MRI tube to be too much for them.

The solution is to obtain the scans without fully enclosing patients, and a special type of scanner, simply called a stand-up MRI machine or an upright scanner, can do exactly that. The good news is that these devices have already come to Los Angeles, and if you’re in the area and need an MRI, you can find a provider that offers stand-up and open MRI scanners easily.

How Stand-Up MRI Scanners Work

A traditional MRI machine creates a strong magnetic field in and around the body. Stand-up machines do the same, but without fully enclosing their subjects. These scanners have open fronts and patients can either stand or sit during the procedure.

The opening is crucial, patients say. They don’t feel the walls closing in on them when they can see the room around them. They can even watch DVDs, escaping to another world entirely for the duration of the scan.

Elaine Flynn, 47, had MRI scans of her hips taken in 2011. She told British news outlet the Daily Mail about the experience, first in a traditional, closed-bore scanner, and later in a stand-up machine.

“I’m not a wimp, but lying in that tiny, narrow space and not being able to move was too much,” she said of the closed-bore design. “I started getting very sweaty and more anxious. Those few minutes felt like hours.”

Later, she traveled to London to have MRI images taken in an upright open scanner.

“This time was so different,” she said. “I felt so much more relaxed. I was even able to watch my DVD of the BBC show Coast while the images of my hips were being taken.”
Claustrophobia isn’t the only reason a doctor might order scans in an upright machine. It also allows radiologists to view the body as it behaves when patients are standing up — a boon when investigating joint problems, which can be aggravated by the constant weight of the body.

MRI Scans in Upright Open Machines in Los Angeles

If you’ve had bad experiences with MRI scans in the past, try an upright scanner. It might make all the difference. Many locations own upright open MRI scanners, and you can make an appointment with one just as easily as scheduling any other procedure.

Call us at 888-322-7785 to book your next MRI scan. Booking a Los Angeles stand-up MRI has never been easier.